Inspiring quotes for your expat year ahead

by Margarita

In this post I’d like to invite you to play a game.  Below you’ll find twenty quotes – one per each of the 20 days left in 2011 (listed in no particular order).  Read each of them aloud to yourself and measure it on an inspiro-meter: on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest level of inspiration), how inspiring is this quote for you?  Once you measured them all, post a comment below with a quote that’s closest to ten.

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”
Flora Whittemore

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

“Things do not change; we change.”
Henry David Thoreau

“If you only do what you know you can do- you never do very much.”
Tom Krause

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.”
Bernard Edmonds

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
C.S. Lewis

“The ideal place for me is the one in which it is most natural to live as a foreigner.”
Italo Calvino

“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping”
Chinese Proverbs

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman

“Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages”
Dave Barry

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you.”

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”
George Sheehan

“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”
Wayne Dyer

“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”
Deepak Chopra

“I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received”
Antonio Porchia

“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.”
R. I. Fitzhenry

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs

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9 responses to “Inspiring quotes for your expat year ahead

  1. From my interculturalist perspective, Dave Barry’s satirical observation on ethnocentrism is the closest to a perfect 10.

    From a personal point of view, the C.S. Lewis quote is the most heart-warming and affirming. I just sent it to a friend who got fired after 25 years on the job.

  2. It’s an interesting selection of inspirational quotes, but in the end, Steve Jobs nails it.

  3. I couldn’t choose just one, as usual. I was really struck by Pericles (meaningful), Italo Calvino (fits me to a T) and C.S. Lewis’ (beautiful) quotes. Thanks for posting these inspiring thoughts!

  4. Thoreau’s quote is so true: “Things do not change, we change!”
    but Steve Jobs’ one is the most inspiring for me!
    Thanks for all of them!

  5. I have been to different places. Some of which really energized me, up to the point where I could say: “I would enjoy living here.” so my preferred quote is Italo Calvino’s one.

  6. Kalliope Gourntis

    It was so hard to choose – they are all beautiful quotes. But at this point in my life, the quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bernard Edmonds fit like a glove. Living in Greece for the past 13 years, my husband and I are thinking of returning to the States in search of a better future. There are so many people telling me how this is difficult and all the reasons why we might fail. It really is a challenge to stick to what you believe and to keep your head up when negative opinions around you abound. Thank you for the inspiration.

  7. Thank you so much for the qoutes. Each of them is true and can be used to inspire us and the people we meet along the path of our lives. I am sure I will use qoutes from this list to encourage people and myself.

  8. For expatriates or anyone who for any reason lives away from true friends Lewis’s quote is very moving. Personally I am sending it to all my friends! So I give it a 10.Professionally, all quotes are fantastic to lead to reflexion in any seminar on intercultural issues. Thanks a lot!

  9. Goethe’s quote is very inspiring for me:
    “Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
    But i like R. I. Fitzhenry’s too. Thanks for posting them!

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